Our view is that Sauternes and Barsac wine is mainly for drinking – that is where the greatest pleasure lies!
It is possible, however:
- To fund your Sauternes wine drinking through judicious investment
- If you can resist drinking Sauternes completely, to gain an alternative pleasure from seeing its value increase over time
Firstly, as with all investments, prices can go up and down within a cycle – at any one stage Sauternes wine prices may be performing well in comparison to other forms of investment. Added to this individual wines have their own natural cycles and will command higher prices once they are drinking at their best.
One great advantage of investing in Sauternes wine is that they have a very long life – you don’t therefore have to worry too much about selling during a short time window as with some red wines. Here are a few examples of recent prices acheived for old Sauternes:
- 70 consecutive vintages of Château d’Yquem went for nearly £400,000 in 2009 (average bottle price of over £5,000)
- a bottle of 1787 Château d’Yquem recently sold for US$100,000 (£55,000) making it the world’s most expensive bottle of white wine
- 1921 Château d’Yquem (the best vintage of the last century) sells for up to £8,000 depending on condition
- 1947 Château Climens, Premier Cru Barsac can be bought for £795 per bottle at Harrods
How does Sauternes compare against other forms of investment? Surprisingly well. Over 20 years fine wine has outperformed the FTSE 100 and the market is less volatile. Historic gains are in excess of 10% over the last 50 years and there is no reason to assume that this will not continue over the medium to long term as supply is strictly limited and markets for the wines are expanding.
By keeping the wine in bond you can avoid paying VAT and Duty – this pleasure will fall to the owner who eventually takes the wine out of bond for consumption. Interestingly, wine is also generally considered a wasting asset and exempt from Capital Gains Tax – for this reason it is generally advisable to hold the wine in a personal capacity. Taxation is a complex area, so please seek advice from a tax professional if you require more detail.
If you have any questions on Sauternes wine investment please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond as quickly as we can.